What You Should Know About Freezing Fresh Alaskan Fish

When you buy fish from an Alaskan seafood market, such as Kodiak Fish Market, it's important that you understand how to preserve it. In fact, any fresh fish that you won't be eating within a couple of days should be frozen for longer storage. If you're getting ready to freeze fresh fish, it's in your best interest to take the steps to do it properly, that way you get the longest possible storage life from the package. Here's a look at some things you need to know before you freeze your fish.

Protect the Fish From Air Exposure

If you're going to freeze the fish, you need to protect it from air exposure, because the air is likely to cause freezer burn. There are a few different ways that you can prevent this from happening.

Vacuum seal – A vacuum sealer draws all of the air out of the packaging. Once sealed, you can package each individual piece of fish into freezer bags for storage. Vacuum sealers can be costly, but they are worth the money over time if you'll be storing a lot of fish.

Glazing – Glazing the fish creates a solid layer of ice on the outside of the fish, sealing everything in. Start by dipping each piece of fish into a bowl of cold water, then set them in a single layer on a sheet pan in the freezer. Leave them in the freezer until the water freezes. Then, repeat the process. Do this several times, or until the layer of ice on the fish is about a quarter of an inch thick. Once coated with ice, you can place the fish fillets into a freezer bag to store.

Wrapping – The final option is wrapping the fish in plastic wrap. Wrap the fish in a couple of layers of plastic. Once tightly wrapped, the fish can be frozen in freezer storage bags, but shouldn't be stored this way for more than a few days, because it isn't as effective at protecting against freezer burn.

Will The Fish Still Be Good After Freezing?

Freezer temperatures won't degrade many fish, especially Alaskan fish. Remember that the water temperatures around Alaska are deep cold, which means that the fish are accustomed to that cold. That means that the temperature in the freezer won't be a drastic change for the fish. This is why you'll see less flavor loss by freezing Alaskan fish than if you freeze a warm water variety. Just make sure you don't leave your fish in the freezer for more than a few months if you want the best possible product once it's thawed.

Can You Freeze Whole Fish?

While you can freeze a whole fish, you should never freeze a fish without cleaning it first. It leaves the fish vulnerable to bacteria and other hazards. Instead, always make sure that you clean the fish completely before you package it for the freezer. You don't have to break it down, though. As long as the fish is clean, you can freeze it whole. For glazing, it may take a bit of patience and time to develop a full ice glaze on a whole fish as compared to pieces. Vacuum storage may be the better option for fish like this.

How Do You Thaw Frozen Fish?

If you're ready to cook some of your frozen Alaskan fish, you need to be sure that you thaw it correctly. Remove the package of fish from your freezer and move it to the fridge. Don't thaw it on the counter or even in warm water. This can lead to bacteria growth that can make you sick. If you must thaw the fish rapidly, a bowl of cold water will work provided that you cook it immediately after.